Kisufim - Jerusalem Conference of Jewish Writers

Venue: Beit Avi Chai

Location: Jerusalem, Israel

Event Date/Time: Apr 16, 2007 End Date/Time: Apr 19, 2007
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Kisufim - Jerusalem Conference of Jewish Writers

“To Be A Jewish Writer”

28 Nisan - 1 Iyar 5767 / April 16-19, 2007
Beit Avi Chai, 44 King George St., Jerusalem

The first international conference of its kind
of Jewish writers and poets throughout the world
organized by
Dimui: A Journal of Jewish Arts, Literature and Culture, Beit Morasha of Jerusalem

Kisufim will mark the 40th anniversary of
the Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to S.Y. Agnon

Chairman: Mr. Natan Sharansky
President: Mr. Aharon Appelfeld
Cultural Director: Ms. Hava Pinhas-Cohen
Production: Hotam Cultural Projects

Jewish literary creativity continues to grow and flourish in fascinating and unprecedented ways both in Israel and around the world.

The time is ripe for Jewish writers from different countries and diverse backgrounds, but who share a sense of Jewish consciousness, to explore together the connection between Jewish identity and text, the interplay of culture and Jewish identity, what defines a Jewish writer and what characterizes Jewish writing.

Kisufim, the Hebrew word for longing and the acronym for “Jerusalem Conference of Jewish Writers,” will bring these writers together for three days and nights of readings, discussions, and cultural events. Renowned and established writers, promising young writers, writers in many different styles and languages, will share their works with colleagues and with the general public, and will consider issues surrounding the multidimensional conference theme, “To Be A JEWISH WRITER.”

This will be the first time that an international conference for Jewish writers of this scope and nature is convened. What better place to connect Jewish writers, clarify textual and cultural issues on the identity of the writer and the identity of text than in Jerusalem, which has been the focus of Jewish longing throughout the centuries.

Kisufim will take place at the newly built Beit Avi Chai, in the center of multifaceted and multilingual Jerusalem. This international confluence of Jewish writers will be a meeting-point for Israelis who write in Hebrew and in other languages and for their colleagues from around the world.

Never has the need or the opportunities been greater. Jewish literature has never been an affair of one language. Today, even in Israel, literature is written not only in Hebrew but in various mother tongues as well. Shouldn’t the works of Israeli writers who write in Hebrew be translated into other languages? Shouldn't Hebrew-speaking Israelis should have access to Jewish writing from around the world. One of the conference goals is to establish an international umbrella organization of Jewish writers and poets that will promote this exchange of multilingual Jewish literature, publishing and translation.

Kisufim will be an exciting international and interdisciplinary conference, with opportunities to integrate music and works of art and documentary films about Jewish writers and poets from around the world. The conference will include poetry and prose readings, master classes with poets and writers in various languages, encounters between writers and poets who write in the same languages— Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Ladino, Russian, Serbian and Spanish — from Israel and from all over the world.

A special evening will be dedicated to S.Y. Agnon to mark the 40th anniversary of being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. We will celebrate his books and examine questions and dilemmas in translating his multi-layered language into foreign languages.

The Kisufim conference will highlight Jewish consciousness and connections in literature, generate Jewish creativity and intellectual growth, and promote a dynamic global exchange of Jewish literatures that will impact on Jewish identity and culture in Israel and throughout the world.

The conference is admission-free and open the the public, except selected sessions, noted in the conference program.

Steering Comittee (a partial alphabetical list)

Hava Pinhas-Cohen, Chairman Poet and editor of Dimui, Journal of Literature, Arts and Culture, Beit Morasha of Jerusalem
Prof. Rachel Elior Head of the Department of Jewish Philosophy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Michal Govrin Writer, poet and theater director
Dagmar Herrmann Translator
Miron Izakson Writer and poet
Prof. Admiel Kosman Poet, and Prof. of Talmud, Potsdam University, Berlin
Prof. Michael P. Kramer Director of the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Department of English, Bar-Ilan University;
editor of Maggid: A Journal of Jewish Literature (Toby Press)
Prof. Menachem Lorberbaum Poet, and Prof. of Jewish Philosophy and Chair, Department of Hebrew Culture Studies, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Avigdor Shinan Department for Hebrew Literature, Hebrew University of Jerusalem;
Avi Chai Foundation representative at Kisufim
Prof. Shira Weiss Department of English Literature, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Language Advisors

English Risa Domb*
French Michal Govrin, Claude Sitbon
German, Slovak Dagmar Herrmann
Hungarian János Kobányai
Italian Manuella Consoni
Ladino Eliezer Papo
Russian Dan Orian
Serbian Dina Katan Ben-Zion
Spanish Florinda Goldberg

* The conference mourns the loss of Dr. Risa Domb, lecturer in Modern Hebrew, Director of the Centre for Modern Hebrew Studies, The Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge, who was a moving force in planning this conference from its inception. May her memory be blessed.


44 King George St.